Our Week – March 24

This week’s post is illustrated with photographs taken by Lucy, our second class photographer.  

Our week has been full. We’ve been reading and writing, making plant observations and growing for science, identifying regions of our country and researching in social studies, along with creating illustrations to accompany a favorite poem, learning The 50 States that Rhyme for our Assembly next week and lots more. We are busy, but in an exciting way because we are exploring many new ideas and learning lots.

Today you will be receiving your child’s report card. First, let me offer, “comment apologies.” Please accept my apologies for garbled sentences – sometimes I change a sentence halfway through writing. I think I have reread and changed the entire wording so it reads well. I go back later, only to find, that was not true. Second, I apologize for mistaken pronouns or confused words (an of for an on). When I am rereading, I may not notice the mistake.

Often on Facebook there are posts saying, “If you can read this…” and vowels are missing or the words are backwards. You’re supposed to read it and repost. Well, please don’t repost, but please know my intentions were to be clear, helpful and informative. I am trying to give you a sense of how your child is preforming both academically and socially in school at this time. If you have questions, please send an email or call. If you’d like to meet, please don’t hesitate to ask.

The Science of Growing

This week we have continued to observe and record observations of how our seeds are growing. I can’t say we’re actually recording like scientists, but the children are beginning to recognize that “it’s bigger” doesn’t prove much. Almost all of them have begun to measure stems and to count leaves. They’ve begun to record colors and some have begun to create illustrations that show as many details in size, shape, texture and color as they can show.

Along with recording their observations, the children have been learning how to show comparisons through graphing. We’ve collected our own data through a Traits Survey. We began our exploration of graphing by creating a graph to show the information found in one of the 16 categories.   Next, we learned about the x and y axis while creating a graph with given data on a worksheet. We’re learning about coordinate grids in this process as well.

Next week, we’ll be planting our broccoli in the greenhouse. At that point, we’ll be using what we’ve learned about data collection to more accurately record the changes in our plants. We’ll also begin a second experiment in the classroom to compare the growth of two different types of seeds. And finally we’ll be conducting and experiment so we can learn how genes are passed on through generations. Science is exciting. It all begins with observing and wonder why.

Celebrating the United States

In the classroom the children are excited about our new research project. We’ve begun to explore State Symbols and people who are famous, or State Heroes. These are Wonders 1 and 2. We are trying to keep the children focused on these research topics so that time doesn’t slip away from them. In the classroom we’ve been reading books that explore all of the states. We’ve read books like The United Tweets of America, Austin Lost in America and books from The Travels with Charlie series. These books mention one or two fun facts from each state.   We are reading these as a way to help the children recognize what others consider “wonder”ful and interesting about their states. The classroom has been full of excited comments, renewed interest in biographies and another close look at maps and atlases.

I will work to keep you informed all along the way in this exciting project. There’s a blog post showing floats from the past so families have a chance to think together about possibilities. Our hope is that the float will be the work of the children – but of course they will need your help. They’ll need your help in making ideas a reality. They’ll need your help in sticking to a timeline that will lead them to success. (They probably don’t have realistic understandings of the amount of time required to build certain kinds of things.) The float building won’t begin until the end of April. By then your child will have clearly identified the Wonders s/he wants to represent on the float and will have created a blueprint. These will be approved by the “building inspector” (me) and then the children, will your help, will create their floats. Math problems posts (I ran out of time this week) will include several different float examples with problems about those states. Our hope is that by the time the float part of the project begins everyone will feel confident and ready. Please let me know if you have any questions along the way.

Bits and Pieces –

  • Our fable project is nearly complete. We chose a title for it, Fable Falls and plan to dedicate it to Keegan. We’ll be designing the cover, finishing our final drafts and creating illustrations next week.
  • In Wonder this week we are learning Via’s perspective. Via is Auggie’s older sister. She’s in high school and we’re beginning understand how families work together. It is a real push and pull.
  • This week’s challenge with Mr. Caron helped us practice map reading. We learned the importance of keeping the map real and of looking at key details to identify specific details. Plus we got to go UPSTAIRS.